North Dakota Texas Hold‘em Championship holds its 15th tournament

Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 8:46 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - The games have begun at the North Dakota Texas Hold‘em Poker Championship and the prize is estimated to be $20,000.

Sam Dickson, the 2008 champion who traveled from Canada, says he’s mediocre when it comes to reading people.

”I tend to try and guess what the other people have and go by that and hopefully get good cards,” Dickson said.

Wendy Rupert, the co-founder of the annual event, says this is her fifteenth year hosting the tournament. She adds that 10 out of 14 previous winners were North Dakotans.

“We’ve never had a repeat champion, so they’re all here trying to battle it out for repeat status,” said Rupert.

Dickson says he hopes he’s the first two-time champion. He’s known the games since childhood.

”Our family’s always played poker, from a little kid all the way up. Christmas time, anytime we’re together, we’re always playing cards,” he said.

Jo Rorick, the runner-up in 2014, says she started playing around 2005.

”My husband used to go and play poker all the time — Texas Hold‘em — and he felt bad about leaving me home, so we sat down one night and he taught me how to play poker,” Rorick said.

Rupert says all that’s needed to advance in a poker tournament is a lot of patience, skill and luck.

”I don’t have sunglasses. I don’t have any strategy. I just play with my gut,” Rorick said.

The co-founder says what’s left after the $20,000 prize will get donated to the Aggie Foundation in Minot.